Gnome City at Unley

I am a member of the Infrastructure and Sustainability Committee @ Unley Council.
At the meeting on 07 June, one of the agenda items was 'Greening Our Verges'.
This item was given healthy debate.
It involves encouraging residents to plant and maintain the verge in front of their home to beautify and help to cool the suburbs. Further, a street with healthy street trees and roadside plantings makes a welcoming visual impact and encourages drivers to slow down; rather than speeding down a bland looking street.
The recommendation to encourage the greening of verges will go to Council in June 2016.

What really appealed to me was the proposal to give Golden Gnomes as awards to residents for excellence in planting and maintaining their verge. It is a low cost proposal and I am sure that residents will embrace the concept and try to receive an award. It is considered appropriate that the Ward Councillors will decided on who gets a gnome. Each Councillor will have 4-5 gnomes to give away. The gnome will have an award label around the neck and will be placed in the residents' front gardens.
The proposal is that there will be 100 gnomes sprayed gold.
An indicative cost is $10 each, painted. $1,000 total.

What I envisage is:
Good looking gnomes about 15cm in height.
Spray (or brush) painted by volunteers.
Perhaps a charity or sports or community group could be paid to paint them.
Colours may vary. A sky blue gnome would be nice. Very Unley-ish.
Councillors could personally fund extra gnomes for his/her Ward; if extra were needed. I'm prepared to pay for and give away an extra 50.

I'm excited by this proposal and I am sure that it will get healthy debate at Council.
I foresee myself wandering the streets with a bagful of gnomes to award to the residents with the best verges.

In a previous monthly report to Council, I suggested that Unley develop a theme to be adopted (by residents) city wide. I was inspired whilst on holiday in Tasmania by towns that had themes eg. murals, topiary (animals), crazy letter-boxes etc.
So, maybe this proposal will be the start of a gnome theme for Unley with a slogan of 'give a gnome a home'. Unley would become gnome city.

If every home had a gnome or two (or three), it would become a draw card and bring people from far and wide to visit Unley, the city of gnomes. Imagine the drawcard at Christmas if the gnomes in the gardens were illuminated. I'm thinking ... Forget the drive to the hills to see the Lobethal lights; just cruise the streets of Unley and take delight in their gnomes.

A  low cost quirky award with an environmental impact.

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